Are you a fan of salsa? Me too! If salsa makes you think “chips” well, think again! It can be used on so many other things that are healthier for you. There is a vast variety of ready made salsas to choose from these days. My family likes some of the jarred Trader Joe’s salsas as well as the fresh ones found in their refrigeration section. They are low in calories but big on flavor. Did you know that the active ingredient in chili peppers called capsaicin also stokes your metabolism for an hour after you eat it? I read that eating spicy foods is suppose to help you feel full faster, I don’t know it that is true or not but it sure does give you a lot of satisfying flavor!
We enjoy the chunky salsa with the Mexican Shredded Chicken Slow Cooker recipe. In fact that is on tonight’s menu. I also like to dip baby carrots, celery, cucumber slices, red pepper slices and snap peas in salsa. For a low calorie salad dressing mix a little salsa with low fat sour cream or fat free Greek yogurt. Try some salsa on grilled chicken or pork for lots of added flavor. Stir some salsa into plain brown rice or black beans to give it some Southwest flair. It also adds some kick to black bean soup, plain frozen corn, over a turkey burger or a Boca patty. Scrambled eggs with a little salsa is delicious. You can even add it to cottage cheese! Now if you really must have chips with your salsa you might try making your own Baked Chips from Mission Extra Thin Corn Tortillas. They taste really good and you have built in portion control.
This was last nights dinner. Baked Southwest Tilapia topped with Peach Salsa. The combination of flavors is amazing. The fish is spicy and the sweet – spicy flavors of the peach salsa are the perfect compliment. This dish has tons of flavor so even though it is super low calorie it is very satisfying. That is my kind of meal.
I used the seasonings for the fish from the Baked Southwest Tilapia recipe but I wanted to cook the asparagus at the same time so I used Chef Pam Anderson’s cold oven method for cooking them both on the same baking sheet as used in the recipe Baked Fish with Broccoli and Capers. This was a last minute dinner. Here is how it all went down, it was 4:00 yesterday afternoon and I was out with Katy so we called home and asked hubby Tom to pull some Tilapia fillets out of the freezer and toss the individually wrapped tenderloins in some cold water to thaw.
When we arrived home at 4:30 the fish was thawed out and ready to cook. The fish was seasoned with the spices and sprayed with olive oil spray, then placed on one end of a foil lined baking sheet sprayed with olive oil spray. The asparagus was washed and trimmed, placed on the other end of the baking sheet, prayed with olive oil spray and seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. The baking sheet was placed on the oven rack set at the lowest position in a cold oven. Yes that is right a cold oven, that was then turned on and set to 400 degrees. Twenty minutes later the fish and asparagus was ready.
While the fish and asparagus cooked to perfection I assembled a tossed salad of romaine, baby greens, shredded carrots, salad tomatoes and a variety of chopped baby peppers. This was all tossed with the easy peasy Jacque Pepein Vinaigrette. Super easy, super fast, super satisfying and spicy! You just have to try this cold oven method for cooking fish.
Yesterday Katy and I went into Sacramento and after having a salad with chicken for lunch at Chipotle we decided to go for a walk around the capitol. There is a huge beautiful park surrounding the CA State Capitol. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we were among lots of downtown office workers who were wearing their tennis shoes with their business clothes as they fitness walked around the park. Isn’t the capitol a neat building?
The cactus gardens were looking pretty good.
The orange trees were loaded with fruit.
We had fun playing with my iPhone and the Instagram app that Katy found. I am still learning how to use the iPhone camera.
Today is day five on the 17 Day Diet. Since I started this food plan I have dealt with eating on a hike, dinner at a friends house, lunch out with a girlfriend, and lunch out with Katy! I have made pretty good choices and have had to make some food choices that are not on this food plan. I just now realized that I had black beans on my salad yesterday and those aren’t included in the first cycle of this food plan! Rats! I was just on auto pilot when I ordered my usual healthy salad. Since I was gone most of the day yesterday I also didn’t get my second yogurt or fruit serving in. I guess it will all balance out as far as calories but certainly not nutritionally. I should be able to eat most of my meals at home from now through Friday so that will help with staying more on plan. On day three I was craving some carbs but that passed quickly. I am very satisfied with the food choices. I do sometimes get hungry between meals but I have yogurt, fruit or some protein and that holds me over to the next meal. So far so good. Let me know if you would like more information about the 17 Day Diet. I could do a post about the plan if anyone is interested.
Today so far I have walked 3 miles and did an upper arm workout using hand weights! I am meeting my fitness goals and that feels awesome.
Wishing you a healthy day!
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How do you like to use Salsa?
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